How do you become a world champion? The recipe of the fighter of Lithuanian origin Rose Namajunas - on the cinema screens

What do Chopin and mixed martial arts have to do with each other? It seems that worlds light years away are equally important to the athlete of Lithuanian origin, two-time UFC world champion Rose Namajunas. The documentary about her begins with a scene where the fighter plays the piano. "I'm a champion" is Rose's affirmation every morning. "Rose Namajunas: I'm a champion" is the name of the story about her created by Marius A. Markevičius. The premiere of the film is in 2022. took place in the autumn at the Austin Film Festival in the USA, and it will hit Lithuanian screens already in February. The trailer and poster of the film are unveiled today. 

"I thought that I would have to persuade her for a long time, but Rose immediately agreed to the idea - we soon met in Los Angeles and filmed a test interview," remembers MA Markevicius, a Lithuanian-American who dates back to 2017. He does not hide his joy when Rose tells him that she is "Other Dream Teams" (The Other Dream Team) fan. in 2011 after the release of Marius's documentary about the Lithuanian men's national team that stunned the world, his two passions - basketball and cinema - became a starting point for further research into his origins and the significance of Lithuanians in the world. His other work is a film about exile "Among Gray Clouds" (Ashes in the Snow) - became the most watched film of all time in Lithuanian cinemas. The shared roots and search for identity between the director and the heroine also played a decisive role in the creation of "Rose Namajunas: I am a champion". 

Rose Namajunas, like the director of the film about her, was born in the United States. In 1992, a family of artists from Lithuania who moved to Wisconsin had a daughter. It is interesting that Rose's grandfather was a multiple Lithuanian and Baltic wrestling champion. The girl's path to the world's most prestigious arenas was difficult - after all, it was professional sports that became the antidote to the violence experienced in childhood. The difference between violence and fighting is one of the most important messages of the documentary film "Rose Namajunas: I am a champion", which invites you to look at the ambiguously evaluated martial arts and the chance that sport provides with an open heart, forgetting stereotypes. 

Rose started her career as a professional MMA fighter in 2013, and made her UFC debut a year later. in 2017 she became the UFC champion (strawweight category up to 52 kg). in 2022 the fighter of Lithuanian origin lost this title in May, but she promises to return to the UFC ring for rematch this year. 

In the documentary, memories of Rose's childhood and adolescence are shared by her mother and brother, the film crew together with the main heroine of the film also visited her grandmother in Kaunas - the audience will surely laugh when they hear how the latter appreciates her granddaughter's nickname "Thug Rose". The athlete's fiance and manager Pat Barry played an extremely important role in the project. The director does not hide that the most difficult thing was to film the UFC fights for the world championship belt and the preparation for them - this sport is extremely dangerous, so the athletes must be maximally focused. However, the representatives of the sports world, who were passionate about the idea of ​​an American Lithuanian, made an effort to capture the most interesting moments, which are usually not seen by television viewers. 

"Rose Namajunas: I'm a Champion" in Lithuanian cinemas - from February 10.

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